Lately, I’ve been feeling the need to talk about the real Jesus with my readers and friends.
I’ve felt like the world is giving people a different impression of Jesus than what the Bible says about him.
I’ve felt like revisionist history has taken over, and fake news is everywhere, and that it is impacting the work of the church as we try to make lives better.
Jesus makes lives better.
I heard a quote concerning Polycarp yesterday. He was a noble saint of God, a disciple of the Apostle John, and an early church leader and bridge to early Christianity who at some point was asked to puff some incense into the air and repeat the phrase, “Caesar is Lord.” He refused.
Polycarp was a threat to his world and government, so he had to die.
The government of Polycarp’s day told him it he didn’t honor Caesar above Christ, he would be first tortured, then killed by being burned at the stake. His response: “Eighty-six years I have served Christ, and He never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” He then prayed a prayer that accepted his fate, requested he be found worthy to die among the martyrs, and praised God for bringing him to this place in life.
He praised God, people. Praised Him!!!!
Eusebiau adds: “When he had offered up his amen and had finished his prayer, the firemen lighted the fire.”
I’m impressed with how Polycarp could rise to a place of gratefulness when facing his torturer’s flame. I believe he was able to face his fate with confidence and be counted among the martyrs for two reasons: 1. The courage the Holy Spirit gives upon our conversion is no joke. We are able to do, while in Christ, things we could never do before He came to reign in our lives. 2. Polycarp had been looking for a way to honor his Savior his whole life, and knew this way would be the way that would be remembered. He was right. This act of love outlived any other sacrifice he might have made in the past, and it led others to follow his example in the future.
I’m struck by the way Jesus coming into our lives has the power to completely change who we are as people. Those who once served out of duty, after being saved, have a whole new heart and way of behaving in this world. I only hope that I can have the courage of Polycarp when Jesus asks me to do something noble and requiring bravery.
The real Jesus gives us opportunities to serve him in powerful ways. What will you do with yours?
Do you feel like the world is trying to hide the truth about the real Jesus from us? Do you know who is behind that kind of masqu